In more equal countries, human beings are generally happier and healthier, there is less crime, more creativity and higher educational attainment. In this talk to launch his latest book, Danny Dorling shows that the evidence is now so overwhelming that it should be changing politics and society all over the world.
More and more evidence is emerging to suggest that greater economic equality benefits all people in all societies, whether you are rich, poor or in-between. The truth of this generalisation has only become evident recently, and is contentious because it contradicts the views of many in the elite. However, the elite you get in any one country now also appears to be influenced by the levels of inequality you tolerate. The UK and USA voted for Brexit and Trump; Canada, Austria and the Netherlands saw very different recent electoral outcomes.
By spring 2017 it became clear that far more countries were becoming more economically equal than more unequal, putting the equality effect to work. But that is of little comfort for the minority of people who live in the few very unequal countries that still see high inequalities, rising or only slowly falling, and in which politics then become increasingly bizarre. The most economically unequal countries in the rich world are now the USA, Israel and the UK. In all three cases sustaining very high rates of inequality is becoming increasingly expensive.
Danny Dorling (@dannydorling) is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. He is the author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Equality; The Atlas of the Real World; Unequal Health; Inequality and the 1%; Injustice: Why Social Inequalities Persist; and the forthcoming The Equality Effect.
Neil Lee (@ndrlee) is Assistant Professor in Economic Geography at LSE.
The International Inequalities Institute at LSE (@LSEInequalities) brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to lead critical and cutting edge research to understand why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.
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Podcast & Video
A podcast and video of this event is available to download from The Equality Effect: improving life for everyone
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A copy of Danny Dorling's PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded:
The Equality Effect - Slides (pdf)